Purée of Asparagus Soup
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a first course
This is an easy and delicious soup to serve as a light main dish for a quick family meal or as a first course for elegant entertaining. It is creamy, but no cream is use. When you buy asparagus for another use, save the tough ends and freeze. You can use extra in a vegetable broth, or add them to this for even more flavor.
- 1 tablespoon butter, preferably unsalted
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, more if needed
- 1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into pieces, tough ends removed and reserved
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional garnish, can use reduced-fat)
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually stir or whisk in broth and bring mixture to a boil. Add the tough ends of asparagus and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the tough ends and discard. Add the remaining asparagus, parsley and marjoram to the broth and simmer until the asparagus is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove the asparagus from the broth with a slotted spoon and place in blender or processor. Purée the asparagus. Gradually add the cooking liquid and continue to purée until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. (If you have a hand blender, the soup can easily be puréed in the pot.) Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared to this point and refrigerated overnight.) Bring soup back to a simmer. If the soup is thicker than you like, thin it out with a little water or broth. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately, topping each serving with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.